"Hear then the parable of the sower..." (Matthew 13:3-9;18-23).
Jesus spoke in parables so that only those who were "to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven" would understand. In the parable of the sower, Jesus describes four kinds of soil, of which only one produces fruit. Only the "good soil" produces one hundred, sixty and thirty-fold yield of fruit.
I once talked to a Mennonite missionary who had spent 30 years in South America. He had built a church of 1,500 members with a staff of 7 pastors. He was proud of his achievement until he heard that 2 Pentecostal missionaries, who had started their work in the same country, and in the same year as he did, had planted 1,500 churches acquiring over 3,000,000 members!
He was troubled. How could 2 farmers using the same seed in the same field have such different yields? After comparing the two ministries, he discovered that the difference was "the baptism of the Holy Spirit."
He was determined to get what he needed, and he wasn't satisfied until he got it - and he did! Once he was baptised in the Holy Spirit, his ministry (while in retirement) yielded more fruit than he ever imagined!
The Holy Spirit prepared him for fruitful ministry and good soil, as he will with each one of us who strive for what makes the difference - the baptism of the Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit, make me into "good soil" and baptize me in the Holy Spirit, so I can have a yield of one hundred, sixty and thirty-fold fruit. Amen.
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